The Republic of Poland is located in Central Europe. It borders on Germany in the west, Czech and Slovak Republics in the south, Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine in the east. In the north it borders on the Baltic Sea and Russia (the Kaliningrad District).
Area, population, language.
The area of 312,7 thousand km² is inhabited by over 38 million people. The official language is Polish.
The capital, cities, and administrative division.
The capital city is Warsaw, inhabited by nearly 1.700,000 people. Warsaw is situated in central Poland on the Vistula River. Vistula is the biggest river of the country. Other major cities are: Lodz (£ódŸ), Cracow (Kraków), Wroc³aw, Poznañ, Gdañsk, Katowice, and Szczecin. Poland is divided into 16 voivodeships.
The Podlaskie Province
is situated in the north-eastern part of Poland. It borders on three voivo-deships: the Warminsko-Mazurskie in the north-west, the Mazowieckie in the south-west and, on the very short section, the Lubelskie in the south. It borders on Lithuania on the north-east, and the border is the internal one of the EU) and Belorussia on the east (the border is the external one of the EU).
The area of 20 180 km is inhabited by 1.224.000 people. Administratively it is divided into 115 communes and 17 counties (including 3 city di-stricts - Bia³ystok, £om¿a, and Suwa³ki). There are nine border crossings in the province: on the Polish - Li-thuanian border - Budzisko/Kalvarija (road, cargo and passenger), Ogrodniki/Lazdijaj (road, passenger, and cargo - vehicles up to 3,5t), Trakiszki/Mockava (railway, cargo, and passenger); on the Polish - Belorussian border: Bobrowniki/Bierestowica (road, cargo, and passenger), Czeremcha/Wysokolitowsk (railway, cargo, and passenger), Kuznica Bia³ostocka/Bruzgi (road, railway, cargo, and passenger), Po³owce/Pisz-czatka (railway; for Polish and Belorussian citizens only), Siemianówka (railway, cargo only).
The capital of the voivodeship.
The seat of the province - Bia³ystok is inhabited by nearly 300.000 people. The city developed in the first half of the 18th c. when Grand Hetman of the Crown - Jan Klemens Branicki was its governor. Today Bia³ystok is the largest industrial, cultural and scientific center of the region. Most of higher education and culture institutions have their seats here; including theatres, Philharmonic hall, museums, university, medical academy, musical academy, technical university, and other higher education institutions.